Friday, May 7, 2010

Shadows of Undrentide

Well, last night I finished the first expansion for Neverwinter Nights 1, Shadows of Undrentide. Yes, it took me a very long time to get around to actually finishing it. Apparently, the last time I had played was back in 2008, and even then, just briefly.

I remember it being my game of choice for a short time when I was home and Mr Bebop was napping. So that would have been late 2007 and early 2008. Nowadays, I'm usually too tired to do anything other than nap when Gabe is napping too, so I hadn't been playing too much. That, and the fact that it is on my external hard drive makes it very unportable to play on the mac laptop, which is the version I have.

Anyways, enough excuses for it taking so long to finish. Overall, it was an enjoyable expansion. I think I was a little spoiled though. I had played through the original campaign with both expansions installed, so I had access to all the prestige classes, spells, crafting, and cloaks, so there was nothing new for me there.

I had a character concept in mind, a halfling rogue/ranger who took advantage of two weapon fighting and sneak attack to deal more damage. Unfortunately, this didn't work out well on several fronts:

  1. Because NWN 1 is based on the D&D 3.0 rules, weapons have size categories and using two weapon fighting as a small character meant using a small weapon in the main hand, and a tiny weapon in the off hand. This meant short sword and dagger for most practical reasons. But all the cool weapons are either longswords or double swords, all of which are two big for a small character to use.
  2. The interlude and chapter 2 have tons of undead or creatures otherwise immune to sneak attacks. Add on top of that the interlude has a door that can only be opened by a Paladin as far as I could tell, and ranger is looking like a poor choice.
  3. The skill implementation is poor, meaning keeping certain skills trained can't be done, even per the 3.0 rules. So I found myself wanting in certain skills that I would have wanted in my character concept.

Deekin the henchmen was the best of all of those available, as I didn't much care for the dwarf or the half-orc. If I were to play through it again, I would try it with one of them instead, but after experiencing their AI in Chapter 1, I was eager for a change in the interlude and chapter 2. But considering I've got plenty of other games available, I don't think I would play through this module again.

As has been said before, the ending was quite anticlimactic. After watching the end game cinematic for Final Fantasy IX, the end video for Shadows was horrible. Perhaps not a fair comparison, but considering the time frame, and that Final Fantasy came out in 2000, and SoU came out in 2003, it was a little sad. Also, even though I had the graphics turned up to the max, the game seems to be showing its age.

I'm thinking of skipping Hordes of the Underdark, which just seems to be an excuse for a high level campaign, and move on to Neverwinter Nights 2. Luckily I have the Mac version which is supposed to have fixed some of the major bugs from the PC version.

No comments: